[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]



*International Space Station Status Report #07-5*
*4 p.m. CST Friday, Jan. 26, 2007*
*Expedition 14 Crew*

The crew aboard the International Space Station focused this week on 
preparing for an unprecedented series of spacewalks set to begin in a 
few days.

Expedition 14 Commander Mike Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Suni 
Williams will begin a 6.5-hour spacewalk from the station at about 9 
a.m. CST on Wednesday, Jan. 31. It will be the first of a record four 
spacewalks planned during the next month.

Lopez-Alegria and Williams will conduct other spacewalks on Feb. 4 and 
Feb. 8. The first three spacewalks will originate from the station's 
Quest airlock, and the astronauts will use U.S. spacesuits. 
Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin will use Russian 
spacesuits for a Feb. 22 spacewalk originating from the station's Pirs 

The three U.S. spacewalks will rearrange the station's cooling system, 
bringing online new portions of the system that were activated during a 
shuttle mission in December. The Russian spacewalk will free a stuck 
antenna on the ISS Progress 23 cargo craft docked to the aft end of the 
station, ensuring that craft can undock safely in April.

The crew began the week unloading some of the more than 2.5 tons of 
food, fuel and supplies that were delivered to the station on Jan. 19 by 
the ISS Progress 24 cargo craft. Supplies aboard the 24th Progress to 
visit the station included fresh produce, gifts from home, new clothing, 
spare parts, oxygen and water.

The crew's attention quickly turned to preparations for the upcoming 
spacewalks. On Monday, the crew began working with the U.S. spacesuits. 
Batteries for the suits were charged, and the suit cooling systems cleaned.

On Tuesday, Lopez-Alegria and Williams trained using an onboard, laptop 
computer-based simulation. The training refreshed their skills operating 
the Simplified Aid For Extravehicular Activity Rescue (SAFER) jetpack 
that is worn on spacesuits. The SAFER backpack allows spacewalkers to 
fly themselves back to the station in the event they become untethered 
and separated from the complex.

On Thursday, ground controllers in Houston commanded the station's 
robotic arm to maneuver into the position it will occupy for the start 
of the spacewalk. Aboard the station, the crew set time aside to review 
the plans for the first spacewalk.

Lopez-Alegria and Williams continued checks of their spacesuits and 
checks of the SAFER backpacks Friday. The SAFER backpacks are propelled 
by compressed nitrogen gas, and, during the checkout, the harmless gas 
was released, depleting the nitrogen in one unit below the usable 
quantity. Two other usable SAFER backpacks remain onboard, however, and 
the loss of the third unit does not affect plans for the upcoming 

The crew took time out from their work on Monday to speak with 
television host Martha Stewart. Crew members also took time to field 
questions from two schools, one in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and another 
in Winnebago, Neb., by amateur radio.

The next station status report will be issued following the spacewalk on 
Wednesday, Jan. 31, or earlier if events warrant. For more about the 
crew's activities and station sighting opportunities, visit:


Sent via sarex@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Not an AMSAT member? Join now to support the amateur satellite program!
Subscription settings: http://amsat.org/mailman/listinfo/sarex